Yesterday, was Moon Cake Festival and Chinese-Cambodians usually celebrate this. It is also called the mid-Autumn Festival but since we dona’t have a autumn/winter season here I guess we’ll just settle for calling it Moon Cake Festival. This occasion is marked for lunar worship and moon watching.
A couple of days before yesterday, you can see shops all over Phnom Penh selling assorted mooncakes. There were also shops selling cute little lanterns in red and gold colors. Not surprising since the Phnom Penh has a sizeable Chinese-Cambodian population and naturally some Chinese traditions has evolved to be part of Cambodian culture.
Hubby’s family is Chinese so they celebrate Chinese festivals and their way of worship is a bit different from traditional Khmers. And of course, the main offering for this festival are the – whatelse, but scores of mooncakes. Mooncakes are usually offered on the altars, and also given to family and friends as festival gifts. Mooncakes are served with tea to balance the sweetness.
I’m not really too much for sweets but I must admit I love mooncakes not really for eating but I appreciate its decorative value. It’s cute and I feel like much effort has been given to perfect each piece. Mooncakes are typically round or rectangle in shape about 10cm wide and 4cm thick. The outer layer or the crust has tiny decorations, some engraved with Chinese characters.
It has a thin crust filled with different kinds of fillings, but the most common are yolks, sweet beans and salted eggs. There are now different variations of mooncakes and each year the flavors and the fillings are becoming more diverse. I ate one durian flavored mooncake yesterday and it’s uhmm, well let’s say durian in not one of my favorite fruits :D. I also saw chocolate, coffee, nuts, fruits, yogurt flavored cakes being sold in the supermarkets and elegantly packd too. Just perfect for giving to friends.
So that’s what we did yesterday.. Made our offerings, visited some family and friends, ate lunch with Hi-ace’s family, and yep, we had a lot of mooncakes.
Happy Mooncake Festival, Everyone!